Bert’s Bottle Shop, a 2,200-square-foot bar and restaurant that specializes in craft beers, recently moved into a previously unoccupied space. Shop owner Alberto Flores explains that the space had an exposed structure design which he decided to retain because, “We liked the openness of it and wanted more of an industrial look.”
However, the hard surfaces together with the large space created excessive reverberation, contributing to uncomfortable noise levels. Acoustical measurements showed the average reverberation time in the space was 1.4 seconds. Industry recommendations for a bar/restaurant are 0.8 to 1.0 seconds.
“It was really loud and echoey,” Flores states. “We might only have a small group of customers in the space, but it would sound like it was completely full. And, it would tend to get increasingly worse as patrons started talking even louder to be heard over the noise level, all of which compounded the problem.”
To help remedy the situation, 416 square feet of INVISACOUSTICS ceiling panels from Armstrong Ceilings were installed. Designed specifically for exposed structure spaces, the panels have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.75, meaning they absorb 75% of the sound that strikes them. Measuring 2' x 4' in size, the fine-textured panels attach to the deck of an exposed structure space, allowing them to provide acoustical absorption while virtually disappearing into the ceiling.
Following the installation of the INVISACOUSTICS panels, Flores and his customers heard a significant difference in the noise level. “It was noticeably quieter right away,” he says. “It made the space feel more solid and less like a tin box. The patrons heard the difference even though they never noticed that the panels had been installed in the ceiling. The panels blend in so well, they look like they have always been there rather than being a simple retrofit.”
Acoustical measurements taken after the addition of the InvisAcoustics panels validated the improvement. The average reverberation time dropped to 0.9 seconds – a reduction of 36%, and now within industry recommendations.
Looking back at the difference the ceiling panels made, Flores explains that he purposely waited until after the installation of the panels before booking live music in the space. He then booked a singer/acoustic guitarist a week after the installation and reports that following her performance, “The artist made it a point to come over to me and tell me how impressed she was with the quality of the sound.”